Ecwid boasts that it is a “new breed of shopping cart” and is a new player in both the e-commerce and SAAS offerings available in today’s market.
Whilst it may be new it’s developers certainly have a profile in the shopping cart industry.Ecwid’s developers are Creative Development DBA Qualiteam, the Russian company behind a range of popular PHP shopping carts including X-Cart.
The service looks to target website owners wanting to add an e-commerce element to their website without the hassle of setting up a full shopping cart directly.
After signing up for the service, users can quickly create their categories and products directly in Ecwid as the application offers catalog management. Once these are set up integration into your website is as simple as pasting in the supplied code and, before you know it, you will be sporting an AJAX enabled store front.
Ecwid definitely adds another option to the large array of shopping cart/e-commerce applications available to website owners. It isn’t as simple a widget as say those offered by Shopit nor is it as complicated to set up as a full blown e-commerce platform such as Magento. I certainly can see it being adopted by those looking for a middle ground when setting up a store. Ecwid is also not currently charging users anything so the barriers to entry are low.
Whilst Ecwid certainly wins when it comes to it’s simplicity it is in this area that I also think the service is at its weakest. After signing up and testing an account, I do not believe that a serious store owner would opt for Ecwid over other shopping cart services. The flaw being in your ability to optimize your store for search engines. I will give the team credit in that they have attempted to work around how the search engines will treat Ecwid stores by developing a HTML only mobile catalog to overcome some of the shortcomings of its AJAX interface. This mobile catalog does mean, though, that users finding you through it in search engines will be sent to a page designed for a mobile interface rather than a full browser experience. In an increasingly competitive online shopping industry I do not believe that store owners can afford such a limitation.
Have you set up a store with Ecwid? If so what were your experiences?